Almost three years after she became the first woman to be the president of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is set to be impeached by the same ruling coalition that put her in the State House. Cabinet agreed today that the expenses scandal revealed by l’express should signal the end of Gurib-Fakim’s mandate as president.
With her refusal to step down, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth is expected to summon parliament next week and start the impeachment process with a motion that is likely to obtain the support of opposition MPs. It remains to be seen what the stance of Ivan Collendavelloo, leader of the Muvman Liberater (ML) and deputy prime minister, will be in parliament. Gurib-Fakim became president after the ML put forward her name and Collendavelloo has always been keen to offer his support to the embattled president.
Gurib-Fakim is facing ostracisation from the presidency following an expenses scandal brought into the news cycle by l’express last week. The president spent a substantial amount of money with a credit card obtained from the Planet Earth Institute, an NGO run by controversial billionaire Alvaro Sobrinho. While her initial line of defence was that the documents from l'express were not "authentic", the president is now claiming that she did nothing wrong because she has reimbursed all the money spent with the credit card.